Heart of palm by Laura Lee Smith

By , August 25, 2013

The line-up has been announced.  Barring any last minute substitutions, the players are readying themselves on the sidelines. Favorites from previous seasons are making late career appearances.  Football season? Heck no, fall book releases!

While you are impatiently waiting for the latest titles by Donna Tartt and Lee Smith or sequels by Pat Conroy, John Grisham and Stephen King, check out this late summer selection.

Heart of Palm by Laura Lee Smith serves up a classically styled southern family saga. This debut novel is set in the small intercoastal town of Utina, Florida where the lazy back road ways of the past and the big bucks development of future collide.The Bravo family features a cast of  star crossed lovers, lost dreamers as well as elderly eccentrics fueled by Little Debbie cakes.  Pass the fried conch, you’ll want to enjoy every bite.

“My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned sixty and that’s the law.” Jerry Seinfeld


Music Review: Daft Punk and new Freegal

By , August 17, 2013

Random Access Memory
By Daft Punk

I’ve always kinda hated techno music. Can I say that? It just always seems so repetitively redundant. I get it…your electric box makes the same sounds in a 4-beat count. What else you got? Oh look…a drum loop. Sigh.

Bored now.

So then can someone please explain to me why I love this album so much? The first time I heard “Get Lucky” I kinda liked it, but was not overly impressed. But the more I’ve heard it, the more I’ve grown to like it. And while it is one of THE Songs of Summer 2013, it’s not my favorite song on the album. That is reserved for “Doing it Right.”

And while this song is repetitive – with basically two different riffs repeated over and over – it is completely addictive. I think I could listen to it for hours. I also like “Loose Yourself to Dance.” I may or may not have used this album as a book-pulling soundtrack. They are fun to dance to in the stacks. Ahem. I’m just saying…

Anyway, the best news of all is that RAM is downloadable on Freegal!!! Which means no long hold queues. And Freegal has upgraded. You still get 5 songs per week, but now you don’t have to log in just to browse. You can sample all you want without a library card. Also, Freegal now has music videos to download! This does count towards 2 of your weekly songs, but it’s worth it.

So head over to Freegal to download RAM and browse through all the new changes. Who knows, you might find a new artist that you can’t live without!

Feel free to loose yourself to dance in the meantime. Happy listening…

:) Amanda

TV review: Duck Dynasty

By , August 10, 2013

Duck Dynasty Season One

What in the world is up with all these Duck people everywhere? I kept hearing about this Duck Commander thing. My first thought: not interested. There are even two books out: The Duck Commander Family and Happy, Happy, Happy. Still not sold. But when a guy in my Sunday School class mentioned it, I changed my mind thinking “Ok, I have got to figure out what all the hoopla is about.”

Basic premise: backwoods Louisiana rednecks make a fortune from the family company of making duck calls. The company is called Duck Commander. But most of the guys who make the duck calls would rather be hunting or blowing things up.

This show should not be so charming, but it pulls you in. These people may not be the most cultured, but they are still good people (although if Uncle Si was my uncle, I’d probably want to lock him in the closet. I’m just saying…). When was the last time you watched a reality TV show and there were no bleeped out cuss words?  And I really like how Phil ends each episode with the family sitting down to dinner for a meal and a prayer.

In this day and age of “quality” entertainment consisting of a bunch of trashy folks getting drunk and partying, it’s nice that a show can depict a solid, if not crazy, family. I will certainly be coming back for Seasons 2 & 3.

Happy watching…

:) Amanda

Book review: Lost

By , August 6, 2013

by S.J. Bolton

S.J. Bolton now has six novels under her writing belt and she has yet to stop taking her readers on a thrill ride of crime-solving suspense.  Her latest title Lost is no exception.  Tess Gerritsen says “if you only read one crime novel this year, make it this.”  If Tess’s word isn’t  good enough for ya, allow your local librarian to convince you…

Detective Constable Lacey Flint is on leave after the last traumatic case where she went undercover at Cambridge (read Dead Scared), and she is in therapy for, among other issues, self-mutilation.  Meanwhile, Lacey’s old colleagues are on the hunt for a serial killer preying on young boys.  Detective Inspector Dana Tulloch is especially troubled by this case, considering she’d like to start a family with her partner.  DI Mark Joesbury, still coming to terms with his feelings for Lacey, has a son the age of the killer’s preferred victims.  A Goonies-like crew of young kids, (including a boy named Barney who lives next door to Lacey)  are conducting their own search of the crime scenes, fueled by mysterious postings on a Facebook site dedicated to the murdered and missing victims.

I thought I had this case solved several times; then Bolton throws in another zinger.  But I can tell that you are undoubtedly a better sleuth than me.  Sound off the in comments and share the titles of your favorite crime novels of 2013.

Popmatic Podcast August 2013: The Dogs Days of Summer Reading

By , August 5, 2013

It’s hot as Hades, but we read all year! We tell you the best things we read during Summer Reading and what tickles our fancy this month. Hint: it is not James Franco.

Stuff That is Happening

Killer Thrillers Book Club – a new book club here at NPL

Movies @ Main: Stony Island

Southern Festival of Books line-up

Best of Summer Reading

The Enemy by Lee Child
This is one of the Jack Reacher series, recently portrayed on the big screen by Tom Cruise.

The Heist by Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg

The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope by Rhonda Riley

No Regrets: Writings on Scott Walker by Rob Young (Ed.)
This book fills in a lot of the gaps in the Scott Walker: 30 Century Man documentary.

The Bible: A Biography by Karen Armstrong, read by Josephine Bailey

Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith, aka J.K. Rowling

Tickling Our Fancy

Walking Dead – 4th Season Coming soon!

Affliction by Laurell K. Hamilton, read by Kimberly Alexis

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Inferno by Dan Brown

Q Lazzarus’ “Goodbye Horses” 25 years on
You can hear the song in its original context in Silence of the Lambs.


Fatale, Volume 3  by Ed Brubaker & Sean Philips

Manhattan Projects by Jonathan Hickman & Nick Pitarra

American Vampire, Volume 3 by Scott Snyder & Rafael Albuquerque

Incognito by Ed Brubaker & Sean Philips

Hologram Panda mixtape by RiFF RAFF & Dame Grease featuring the song “Tiger Bear Gargoyle”


Book review: Inferno

By , August 3, 2013

By Dan Brown

Yep. I did it. I read what could arguably be called the most popular summer release. And I’m writing this review, not because I’m afraid you won’t hear of it and therefore might miss it, but because I want to assure you that it’s worth your time. No matter how you feel about Mr. Brown’s mythology, you can’t argue that the dude can write a good thriller.

Premise: A wealthy geneticist and Dante-lover decides that the world is overpopulated and vows to release something that will “fix” our problem. But our hero, Robert Langdon stands in his way. The only catch: Langdon has lost his memory. And…go!

If you are a lover of Florence, Venice, or Dante Alighieri, this would be a good pick. I didn’t know if I’d read any more Dan Brown books after the dud that was The Lost Symbolbut this one is definitely better – more like Angels and Demons. A couple of comments here and there make sure the author interjects his world view into the story, but it’s easy to get past and back to the action. Blah blah blah, Dan. Let’s blow something up!

Be sure to get your name on the hold list today.

Happy Reading…

:) Amanda

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